Canal Irrigation


A canal is defined as an artificial channel
constructed on the ground to carry water from
a river or another canal or a reservoir to the

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Types of Canals

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Types of Canals

• Continuous source of water
Permanent supply.
Canal • Also called perennial canals

Inundation • Draws its supplies from a river
only during the high stages of
Canal the river.

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Navigation • Used for transport of goods. Note. Types of Canals (BASED ON FUNCTION) Irrigation • Carries water from its source to Canal agricultural fields. Feeder Canal • Feeds two or more canals. Canal • Used to carry water for Power Canal generation of hydroelectricity. a canal can serve more than one purpose. Pranamesh Chakraborty .

Types of Canals (BASED ON ALIGNMENT) Watershed Canal or Ridge Canal Contour Canal Side Slope Canal Pranamesh Chakraborty .

Watershed canal or Ridge canal Pranamesh Chakraborty .

Watershed canal or Ridge canal (Contd.  Thus between two major streams.) The dividing ridge line between the catchment areas of two streams (drains) is called the watershed or ridge canal. which divides the drainage area of the two streams. there is the main watershed (ridge line). Pranamesh Chakraborty .

no drainage can cross a canal aligned on the ridge. Thus. a canal aligned on the watershed saves the cost of construction of cross-drainage works.Watershed canal or Ridge canal (Contd. or a ridge canal.) The canal which is aligned along any natural watershed (ridge line) is called a watershed canal. Aligning a canal (main canal or branch canal or distributary) on the ridge ensures gravity irrigation on both sides of the canal. Pranamesh Chakraborty .  Since the drainage flows away from the ridge.

Watershed canal or Ridge canal (Contd.) Pranamesh Chakraborty .

In such conditions. In fact. contour canals are usually constructed. In hills. Contour Canal Watershed canal along the ridge line are not found economical in hill areas. Pranamesh Chakraborty . It therefore becomes virtually impossible to take the canal on top of such a higher ridge line. the river flows in the valley well below the watershed. the ridge line (watershed) may be hundred of meters above the river. A contour canal irrigates only on one side because the area on the other side is higher.

) Pranamesh Chakraborty .Contour Canal (Contd.

Since such a canal runs parallel to the natural drainage flow. along the side slopes.e. Side Slope Canal A side slope canal is that which is aligned at right angles to the contours. it usually does not intercept drainage channels. It is a canal which is aligned roughly at right angle to contours of the country but not on watershed or valley. thus avoiding the construction of cross-drainage structures. Pranamesh Chakraborty . i.

Side Slope Canal (Contd.) Pranamesh Chakraborty .

Types of Canals (BASED ON DISCHARGE) Main Canal Branch Canal Major Distributary Minor Distributary Water Course Pranamesh Chakraborty .

MAIN CANAL Main Canal takes off directly from the upstream side of weir head works or dam. Usually no direct cultivation is proposed Pranamesh Chakraborty .

The Danube-Black Sea Canal in Romania .

Acts as feeder channel for major distributaries Pranamesh Chakraborty . BRANCH CANAL All offtakes from main canal with head discharge of 14-15 cumecs and above are termed as branch canals.


MINOR DISTRIBUTARY  All offtakes taking off from a major distributary carrying discharge less than 0.25 to 15 cumecs are termed as major distributaries. Pranamesh Chakraborty .25 cumec are termed as minor distributaries WATER COURSE  Small channels which carry water from the outlets of a major or minor distributary or a branch canal to the fields to be irrigated. MAJOR DISTRIBUTARY  All offtakes from main canal or branch canal with head discharge from 0.

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Lined • Different types of lining used e.g. • Water velocities higher than 0. • Profuse growth of aquatic weeds retards the flow . etc. Pranamesh Chakraborty .7 m/s are not Unlined tolerable. Types of Canals (Based on lining provided or not) • Bed and banks made up of natural soil. Canal brick or burnt clay tile. boulder. • Lining of impervious material on its bed and banks to prevent the seepage of water. Canal • High seepage and conveyance water losses. concrete.



Cross-Section of Irrigation Canal Pranamesh Chakraborty .

Pranamesh Chakraborty . NSL=Natural Surface Level This section is partly in cutting and partly in filling and aims in balancing the quantity of earth work in excavation with that in filling. Introduction FSL= Full Supply Level.

Pranamesh Chakraborty . Introduction When the NSL is above the top of the bank. and it is called ‘canal in filling’. Similarly. and it shall be called ‘canal in cutting’. when the NSL is lower than the bed level of the canal. the entire canal section will have to be in cutting. the entire canal section will have to be built in filling.

Section  Side slope  Berm  Freeboard  Bank  Service road  Spoil Bank  Borrow Pit Pranamesh Chakraborty . Components of Cross.

A comparatively steeper slope can be provided in cutting rather than in filling. depending upon the type of the soil. Side Slope The side slopes should be such that they are stable. as the soil in the former case shall be more stable. Pranamesh Chakraborty .

Berm Berm is the horizontal distance left at ground level between the toe of the bank and the top edge of cutting. Pranamesh Chakraborty .

Berm (contd.  They provide a scope for future widening of the canal.  They protect the banks from erosion due to wave action. Pranamesh Chakraborty .) Purposes of Berms:  They give additional strength to the banks and provide protection against erosion and breaches.

The amount of freeboard depends upon the discharge of the channel. Freeboard The margin between FSL and bank level is known as freeboard. Pranamesh Chakraborty .

Pranamesh Chakraborty . Bank The primary purpose of banks in to retain water. This can be used as means of communication and as inspection paths.

Pranamesh Chakraborty . dowlas with side slopes of 1. Service Road Service roads are provided on canals for inspection purposes. and may simultaneously serve as the means of communication in remote areas. Dowla: As a measure of safety in driving. are provided along the banks.5: 1 to 2:1.

Pranamesh Chakraborty . Spoil Bank When the earthwork in excavation exceeds earthworks in filling. Economical mode of its disposal may be collecting this soil on the edge of the bank embankment itself. the extra earth has to be disposed of economically.

Types of losses of water in canals Loss of water in canal Evaporation Seepage Loss Loss Percolation Absorption Pranamesh Chakraborty .

Evaporation Loss The water lost by evaporation is generally very small. as compared to seepage loss. Evaporation Loss are generally 2-3% of total loss (max. 7% in summer) Pranamesh Chakraborty .

Pranamesh Chakraborty . there exist a zone of continuous saturation from canal to water table and direct flow is established. Seepage Loss Percolation: In percolation.

Seepage Loss Percolation: Almost all water lost from canal reaches ground water reservoir. Loss of water depends on the difference of the top water surface level of channel and level of water-table. .

Seepage Loss Absorption: In absorption. Pranamesh Chakraborty . a small saturated zone exist round the canal section and is surrounded by zone of decreasing saturation. A certain zone just above water table is saturated by capillarity.

This result in seepage loss. Pranamesh Chakraborty . there exists an unsaturated soil zone between two saturated zones. Seepage Loss Absorption: Thus.

Canal Lining Pranamesh Chakraborty .

or even standing water on adjacent fields or roads. Advantages of Lining  Water Conservation: Lining a canal results in reduction in water losses. as water losses in unlined irrigation canals can be high.  No seepage of water into adjacent land or roads: If canal banks are highly permeable. Lining of such a canal can solve this problem. Pranamesh Chakraborty . the seepage of water will cause very wet or waterlogged conditions.

 Removal of weeds and water canals. the canal cross-section for a lined canal can be smaller than that of an unlined canal.  Periodical removal of silt deposited on the beds and sides of canals. etc.  Minor repairs like plugging of cracks. Pranamesh Chakraborty . and thus the flow velocity will be higher in the lined canal . with the higher velocity.  Reduced maintenance: Maintenance costs for the following issues are eliminated using lining of canals. uneven settlements of banks. Advantages of Lining (Contd. Therefore.) Reduced canal dimensions: The resistance to flow of a lined canal is less than that of an unlined canal.

Types of lining Hard Surface Lining Earth Type Lining Cast Insitu Cement Compacted Earth Concrete Lining Lining Shotcrete or Plastic Soil Cement Lining Lining Cement Concrete Tile Lining or Brick Lining Asphaltic Concrete Lining Boulder Lining Pranamesh Chakraborty .

Cast In-Situ Concrete Lining Pranamesh Chakraborty .

Thank You Pranamesh Chakraborty .